0716 GMT November 20, 2018
Iran’s Guardian Council approved a bill amending a law on combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) as part of standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The Guardian Council’s spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodaei told a press conference on Saturday that the council has found that the bill is not in contravention with the country’s Constitution and Sharia law.
Last month, the council had rejected the amendments, sending the legislation back to the parliament.
President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday announced the law to the ministry of economy and the judiciary.
Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the FATF, a global group of government anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-financing of terrorism regimes, in the hope it will be removed from a blacklist that makes some foreign investors reluctant to deal with it.
In June, FATF said Iran had until October to complete the reforms or face consequences that could further deter investors from the country, which has already been hit by the return of US sanctions this week.
Iran entered into talks with the FATF to get out of the body’s blacklist following the implementation of Iran nuclear deal in 2016.
But Iran’s accession to FATF slowed down in recent months, over concerns among some officials that the move could endanger the country’s national security interests.
The FATF cannot impose sanctions, but individual states that are its members have used the group's reports to take punitive measures against their adversaries. As a result, Iran and Syria have been targeted by US and European sanctions.
Nevertheless, countries seeking to attract foreign investors have little choice but to adopt the FATF’s requirements or risk financial exclusion.
According to Tom Keatinge, the director of the Center for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the RUSI think-tank in London, the FAFT is "the most powerful organization most people will have never heard of."
“A lot of aggravation that people suffer with their banking is FATF-related but they don’t realize it," the Middle East Eye online news portal quoted him as saying.
Established in 1989, the FATF is an intergovernmental body comprising more than 190 member states. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
IRNA and Press TV contributed to this story.